Are you wondering whether you need a Java backend developer for your software development project? That doesn’t surprise us. After all, so many programming languages have emerged! They offer a lot. Why would you need a Java backend developer then?
Well, the truth is that Java programming language remains the preeminent choice of programming language for software development. That’s true for server-side programming too.
What makes Java so popular for backend development? What should you do to hire a competent Java developer? How should you go about this hiring process? Read on, as we explain it all in this guide.
Java: The programming language of choice for backend development
The powerful features of Java offer plenty of advantages when you develop APIs and web services. Beyond REST APIs, Java can help you with developing microservices. This programming language can help with scripting and developing algorithms too.
Coders continue to prefer Java for web development. Java retains its importance in native Android development also. Programmers prefer it due to the following reasons:
1. General-purpose language
Java remains an excellent choice for a wide range of development projects. You can use it for web development, mobile development, network programming, etc.
2. The ease of learning path
Java utilizes the fundamental principles of programming very well. The syntax is easy to learn, and programmers can learn it quickly.
3. Cross-platform language
You can write a Java program, compile it, and run it on all major platforms. Any platform that supports the “Java Virtual Machine” (JVM) can execute Java programs. You can run Java programs on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, etc. You can use Java for database connectivity.
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Java supports multi-threaded processes, which is advantageous for CPU-intensive applications.
Java offers significant security features. To start with, it’s a statically-typed language. This prevents variable type-related defects by design. Java employs useful security-related algorithms, protocols, and mechanisms.
Java APIs support its security features. These APIs include authentication, secure communication, access control, PKI (public key infrastructure), and cryptography.
6. Java libraries
Programmers can use a variety of Java open-source libraries. These make many common tasks like JSON-parsing, XML-parsing, HTML-parsing, messaging, logging, etc. easier. A web developer working on the backend part will find this rich collection of libraries especially useful.
Java supports automatic memory management and garbage collection. These help developers code scalable apps.
Java has excellent development frameworks, and these support backend development considerably. Developers can use the Spring Boot framework, Grails, Hibernate, Apache Struts, and many other useful frameworks.
9. Tooling support
A software engineer will find it easy to code using Java since it has excellent tooling support. Developers can use the Eclipse IDE. They can also use other useful tools like NetBeans, Jenkins, Maven, etc.
Hiring a Java backend developer: The choice of hiring platform
You are likely wondering about hiring platforms when hiring software engineers with Java skills. Choose between one of the following options:
1. Freelance platforms
Freelance platforms can help you to hire a Java programmer. Some of these platforms have large networks of freelancers, therefore, you will likely receive many applications.
A few freelance platforms claim to use a stringent vetting process. They claim to connect you to high-quality developers only. Finally, you might be able to negotiate a low hourly rate.
You need to keep the following disadvantages in mind though:
- The lack of management support: Freelance platforms don’t offer management support. You will need to manage the work of freelancers, who might work remotely.
- Part-time developers: Freelancers typically work part-time on a project. This might adversely impact your project schedule.
- Turnover: Freelancers look for better opportunities to earn. They might leave your project mid-way if they find such an opportunity. You need to find a software developer to replace the freelancer.
- Uncertainties: If you have a complex project, then you would like to reduce other complexities. You can’t do that with part-time freelancers working remotely.
2. Job boards
You can post Java developer jobs on various popular job boards. These job boards can increase the visibility of your job postings, and many candidates might apply. That’s an advantage.
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You need to interview the shortlisted candidates. Once you select a software engineer, you need to manage the hiring process. Remember that job boards don’t offer any project management support.
You need to contend with the following risks:
- High management effort: You own the entire hiring and contracting process. You also manage the work done by the developer.
- Turnover: You need to find a replacement if the developer leaves the project mid-way.
- Hiring lead-time: You might need to post your jobs on many job boards to gain appropriate visibility. This involves quite a bit of effort, and your hiring lead time may be high.
- Uncertainties: While you might assess the technical skills of the shortlisted candidates, assessing their competencies can be hard. E.g., will the developer work collaboratively with your larger team?
3. Software development companies
Software development companies can help you to hire Java developers. Do you have a complex project? You might want to hire a developer from a software development company since it offers the following advantages:
- Ease of hiring: These companies offer a simple hiring process. You will find the processes like contracting, billing, etc., easy.
- Management support: Software development companies provide management support. They typically assign a dedicated account manager. The account manager provides management oversight for their developers, which helps.
- High-quality developers: Software development companies regularly encourage their developers to upskill themselves. This also makes the developers more motivated.
- Mitigates uncertainties: You get full-time developers. In case a programmer leaves in the middle of a project, a software development company will provide you with a replacement.
Creating a job posting for a Java backend developer position
After choosing a hiring platform, you need to create a job posting. Include the following in that:
1. An introduction to your company
Provide a brief introduction to your company so that the prospective developers know enough about it. Make this introduction informative. Remember to make it exciting too.
Explain the career development opportunities you offer. Provide details about the working environment, work culture, and the potential for growth. Explain the compensations and benefits that you offer.
2. The job description
Describe the position briefly. Talk about the kind of projects that the developer will work on. Mention whether the programmer will work on development as well as maintenance projects. Explain the importance of these projects, and talk about how they matter to the organization.
3. The job responsibilities
Explain the job responsibilities of the Java developer. These should include the following:
- Understanding the business requirements by working closely with the business analysts or business stakeholders;
- Studying the technical solutions by collaborating with the architect;
- Creating program specifications;
- Coding and unit testing new Java applications;
- Working with the testing and DevOps teams for testing and deployment;
- Collaborating with your larger team;
- Communicating effectively with all key stakeholders;
- Participating in process improvement activities.
This is a representative list only, and you need might need to tailor it. You need to specify the skills too, and we now talk about them in detail.
The skills that a Java backend developer needs
What skills should you look for when interviewing a Java back-end developer? Look for a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or related fields. Furthermore, look for the following:
1. Primary Java skills
You need a Java developer with the following primary skills:
- Excellent knowledge of Java;
- Good familiarity with the rich ecosystem of Java;
- Robust understanding of object-oriented programming;
- Sound knowledge of the “Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition” (J2EE);
- In-depth understanding of concurrency patterns in Java;
- Deep knowledge of Java libraries;
- Conceptual understanding of how the JVM works;
- Good familiarity with the class loading mechanisms in Java;
- Years of experience in coding Java programs and unit testing them;
- Excellent debugging experience;
- Robust knowledge of version-control tools like Git;
- Familiarity with build management tools like Maven, Gradle, etc.;
- Excellent knowledge of frameworks like Spring Boot;
- Years of experience with containers like Docker;
- Good knowledge of open-source orchestration systems like Kubernetes;
- Sound knowledge of architectural patterns and concepts like MVC.
2. Front-end development skills
You need a Java developer with sufficient front-end development skills. Front-end developers should know the following:
- The experience of coding in line with the user interface design principles and parameters;
- Good knowledge of design templates and popular front-end frameworks like React, Angular, etc.
3. Back-end development skills
Look for the relevant back-end skills and experience when you hire a Java developer. We recommend you hire a full-stack developer. This mitigates risks in your development team since this developer can work on both the front-end and back-end. Look for the following skills:
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- Familiarity with popular cloud computing platforms;
- Robust knowledge of popular relational database management systems (RDBMSs) like MySQL, Oracle, etc.;
- Excellent knowledge of SQL;
- In-depth expertise in popular NoSQL databases like MongoDB, Redis, etc.;
- Years of experience in developing RESTful APIs;
- The ability to create scalable applications;
- Deep knowledge of creating secure applications.
4. Software engineering skills
You need a Java backend developer to have key software engineering skills. These are as follows:
- Good familiarity with software development lifecycle and key methodologies like “Agile”;
- Excellent knowledge of coding guidelines and best practices;
- In-depth understanding of testing and DevOps processes, methods, and tools (PM&T);
- Robust knowledge of software defect prevention techniques;
- Sufficient experience in code review.
The competencies that a Java backend developer should have
You need to look for the following competencies when you hire a Java programmer:
- Passion for excellence: You need to deliver sustained value to the business users of your proposed software system. Your development team needs the passion for excellence for this.
- Commitment: Your project will likely face several challenges. However, you still need to meet the budget, schedule, and quality objectives. Developers need the commitment to your larger objectives.
- Communication skills: The Java developer you hire needs to communicate effectively with your larger team. Communication skills have plenty of importance.
- Problem-solving skills: You need developers that can address problems with an objective approach. Brainstorming, triaging, etc., are key capabilities for this.
- Collaboration: Teamwork is important to the success of your project. Look for developers that demonstrate the ability to collaborate meaningfully.
Interviewing a Java backend developer
You would need to interview the shortlisted candidates, and this process can take time. We recommend you cover all the skill areas that we mentioned. Furthermore, we recommend you focus on relevant experience.
Check whether the candidates have worked on different kinds of projects. Find out from them how they have approached different problems. Explain your project requirements, and ask how a candidate would approach them. Expect specific responses and not high-level statements.
Onboarding a Java backend developer
Once you hire a developer, you need to onboard him/her effectively. Explain your project requirements, technical solutions, and the project technical environment in detail. Introduce the new developer to your larger team.
Provide access to the project technical environment including the code repository. Set up a communication process, and explain the project plan and schedule. You need to establish accountability.
Planning to Hire a Java Backend Developer
We talked about why you need a Java backend developer. We discussed the steps to hire such developers. Contact us at DevTeam.Space if you need help with hiring.
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FAQs on Hiring a Java Backend Developer
Both Python and Java offer plenty of advantages. Whether performance, ease-of-use, or frameworks, both languages help developers to gain productivity. Both enjoy high popularity, therefore, your business context and organizational preferences will drive your decision.
You need a Java developer with a sufficient understanding of “Continuous Integration” (CI)/”Continuous Delivery” (CD). Establishing and using an effective CI/CD environment is especially crucial for “Agile” projects.
You can use Java in a project involving GraphQL. Using REST (Representational State Transfer) or GraphQL for API development doesn’t influence whether you can use Java.
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